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Overcrowding in the Holy Year?

throthette

New Member
Hi all,
I'm Amanda - I just joined, but have done a portion of the Camino before.

Here's what I'm wondering, to those of you who are likely much more familiar with the Camino than I am: I know that, because 2010 is a holy year, the Camino is going to be much more crowded than usual. My hope is that it won't be too crowded when I go...I'm planning to start in St.-Jean-Pied-de-Port on March 2, and finishing in 30-35 days. Can anyone set my mind at ease? Will I be fine, since I'm doing the Camino in March?

Sorry if this has been posted elsewhere! And thanks to anyone that can give some advice. :)
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
I am starting from SJPP in mid-March and really do not expect to run into serious crowds until later in the Camino....around April.
I thnk you will be fine. I walked the Camino in March 2009 and saw few people most of the time except at the end.
 

throthette

New Member
Thanks for your reply!
This is certainly my hope. And even if it is a bit more crowded, well, I've already changed my flight out of Spain (I'm visiting a friend for a month before hand, and decided to stay extra time to walk), so I've got the time, and I've been wanting to get back to the Camino since I walked some of it a few years ago...
Hope you enjoy your trip, too.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
I don't think early March will be too overcrowded. You might have to worry more about the weather!
Last year pilgrims reported 16 days straight of sunshine in March and then the storms, snows and blizzards started. By Easter there were snow alerts - 8 inches fell in 24 hours in Navarre and rescues had to be caried out outside Burgos at at Triacastela.

Have a look at this post on my blog for walking in Spring.
http://amawalker.blogspot.com/2009/04/w ... pring.html
 

Ajda

Member
Sorry, Amanda, I don't have answers. I just wanted to add some questions.

Do you think it will be an enormous crowd in July and August?
Obviously I'll have the time and really would like to do it again. But i'm not sure because of Holy year and crowds.

I would like to start in SJPDP.

So how bad it will be in July from SJPDP to Ponfferada? (From here on it was only a race to bed on my Camino in 2009 - august).

Thank you for your answers.
 

Geradine

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2010: Roncesvalles - Burgos / Astorga - SdC
2011: SJPdP - Burgos
2012: Burgos - Leon
2015: Irun - Santander / SdC - Finisterre, Muxia
I planned to walk in september and I really hope the masses of people will have stopped by then. My walking companion is kind of scared that there won't be any possibility to sleep in (oder under) and that we have to sleep outside. But I really don't want to take a tent with me.

So: Does anybody agree with me and my thoughts that most of the people will try to arrive in SdC in july and that there won't be an overcrowding two months later? :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2008, half Via del Plata 2011, Camino Fisterra 2011, Camino Aragones 2013.
Geradine said:
I planned to walk in september and I really hope the masses of people will have stopped by then. ... Does anybody agree with me and my thoughts that most of the people will try to arrive in SdC in july and that there won't be an overcrowding two months later? :)

I'd like to say yes but both the stats for recent years and my own experience in Sep 2008 suggest that Sep 2010 will be very busy.

Having said that - Is it true to say that the Holy Year "spike" is mainly Spaniards? Foreigners seem to be more put off than encouraged by the Holy Year. And also many of these Spanish walkers will only be doing the last 100km?
 

rbakker

New Member
Geradine, I am also starting from SJDP in September, and have stopped agonising over the posibility of overcrowding. What will be will be. I am going to turn up on 8th Sept and will start walking the next day.
 
I would expect more people (especially bands of Spanish students) around Easter - April 1 to 5 in particular in 2010.

A lot of these youngsters (we met them both on the Camino Francés and on the Via de la Plata) were quite unprepared to walk, took the bus a lot, tried to party in the dorm where people wanted to sleep, and basically treated the whole thing as an excuse to get away from their parents and drink wine, while having the opportunity to stay in cheap dorms.

According to Spanish friends, this is most common along the last 100 km of the route, but we met plenty of them in other placers, too. I also heard (but have no personal experience) that there was a tendency towards lightfingeredness regarding others' belongings.

Whether they're allowed to cause overcrowding will depend on the hospitalleros, I expect.
 

FrenchGwen

New Member
Just my luck. :| I would have expected the possibly really bad weather to dampen these youngsters' enthusiasm :roll:
Well, we'll see. The good side of their taking the bus a lot, is that the way in itself will in fact be less crowded :roll:
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
I don't think the overcrowding is going to be in the albergues themselves. Some albergues still make place for extra pilgrims but many - alll albergues in Galicia - are no longer allowed to take more pilgrims than are covered by their insurance policy. It was drummed into us that we could not have even one extra pilgrim sleeping on the floor, even though there was a large, unused function room.
The overcrowding will be pilgrims looking for a bed and many albergues, small hotels, and inns will be full. The tents and gymnasiums will cater for the overflow.
 

pat.holland

Member
Camino(s) past & future
C F 2007-10, Le Puy St. Jean 2011-13, C P 2015 Via F 2016-7
I dont know if this means anything re the numbers on the Camino, but tonight I heard that there are very few places left on Aer Lingus flights from Dublin to Santiago in September.
 

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